One of the leading Middle Eastern investment funds is planning to launch a bid of around US$ 12.1 billion (£8bn) for the British high-street retailer Marks & Spencer.
The Qatar Investment Authority, an independent wealth fund in the sovereign state of Qatar, has approached various premium banks and private equity firms to build a consortium to make a move on M&S, reported the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper.
Once considered to be one of the biggest retailers in the world, M&S has been struggling with poor sales in recent times and in the last quarter the company’s sales slumped further by nearly 1.8 percent compared to the previous year.
Owning stakes in big companies like supermarket chain J Sainsbury, Barclays and London's upscale department store Harrods, Qatari investors have been steadily expanding their wings in the UK for the past few years.
M&S operates more than 700 stores across Britain and over 400 stores in 44 countries worldwide.